Alibi V.27 No.2 • Jan 11-17, 2018 

Idiot Box

Midseason Madness

New shows for a new year

With the 2017/2018 fall season half over, the “Big Four” networks have been surprisingly reluctant to cancel bad or underperforming shows. ABC, for example, yanked the well-reviewed sitcom “The Mayor” from its schedule on Jan. 4, leaving four unaired episodes—but has yet to officially label it “canceled.” Last year the Alphabet Net also banished Shonda Rhimes’ goofy Shakespeare melodrama “Still Star-Crossed” and the Kyra Sedgewick-led kidnap drama “Ten Days in the Valley” to Saturdays, allowing them to quietly vanish without further comment. CBS, for its part, pulled the heavily hyped sitcom “Me, Myself & I” from its schedule after 6 eps, while its app-based crime drama “Wisdom of the Crowd” suspended production after 13 episodes (’cause star Jeremy Piven was accused of sexual harassment). The CW declined a full season pickup of military drama “Valor” and will allow it to expire after burning off all 13 episodes.

But even those few merciful deaths leave room for some new midseason replacements. So what does early 2018 have in store for us, network TV-wise? Let’s see!

FOX—FOX opened the gates early on musical competition “The Four,” airline sitcom “LA to Vegas” and emergency services drama “9-1-1.” The only thing left is “The Resident” (Jan. 21), which will, hopefully, fill TV’s glaring lack of medical dramas in primetime.

NBC—“A.P. Bio” (Feb. 1) is a sitcom about a philosophy scholar stuck teaching high school biology. “Good Girls” (Feb. 26) is a drama about three suburban moms (Christina Hendricks, Rhetta, Mae Whitman) who decide to make ends meet by robbing banks. In addition to medical dramas, TV evidently lacks sufficient musical dramas, as well, which is where “Rise” (March 13) comes in. It’s basically “Glee,” but based on a true story. “Genius Junior” (March 18) is a game show with kids.

CBS—How could CBS possibly improve “Big Brother”—other than offer up “Celebrity Big Brother” (Feb. 7)? Based on the nonfiction book The Year of Living Biblically, the sitcom “Living Biblically” (Feb. 26) follows a married film critic who decides to live an entire year according to the frequently contradictory strictures of the Bible. “Instinct” (March 11) looks like just another police procedural—except it stars Alan Cumming and is based on a book by James Patterson.

ABC—Hoping to capitalize on some Winter Olympics love, The Bachelor Winter Games” (Feb. 13) finds former “Bachelor” contestants competing in assorted winter sports. “Deception” (March 11) is another drama in which wacky people magically solve crimes for the police. This one features a retired Las Vegas illusionist. “American Idol” (March 11) isn’t precisely “new.” But it does have a new batch of judges (Katy Perry!) and a new network. We’ve already added doctors and cops, so it’s time to add lawyers to the primetime mix with “For the People” (March 13). Although it lacks a name, the “Untitled Grey’s Anatomy Spinoff” (March 22) will be about firefighters. Sexy firefighters, no doubt. After more than 10 years off the air, ABC revives sitcom standard “Roseanne” (March 27). Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson star as a divorced couple in “Splitting Up Together” (March 27), a remake of the Danish sitcom “Bedre Skitt End Aldrig.” Zach Braff headlines the sitcom “Alex, Inc.” (March 28), based on Alex Blumberg’s podcast about trying to launch a startup company. “The Crossing” (April 2) is an ambitious-sounding sci-fi drama about illegal immigrants—who come not from South of the Border, but from 250 years in the future.